Newlat Food halts negotiations for the acquisition of Princes

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Mitsubisi Corporation has rejected Newlat Food's offer to acquire Princes. Image: Getty
Mitsubisi Corporation has rejected Newlat Food's offer to acquire Princes. Image: Getty

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Newlat Food has stopped negotiations for the acquisition of manufacturer Princes and its subsidiaries after its last offer was rejected by owner the Mitsubishi Corporation.

Italy-based Newlat announced its intention to acquire the tinned fish and ambient foods producer in December last year and that it was in “very advanced” talks with Mitsubishi.

It is understood that Mitsubishi was seeking a price of £400m for the manufacturer. However, Newlat revised its offer following an in-depth analysis on the strategic integration of Princes and took into consideration the challenging market environment in the UK.

Rejected offer

This offer was not accepted by Mitsubishi, prompting Newlat to pull out of negotiations, but it said it remained open to re-evaluating a possible purchase should the seller be willing to reconsider the sale based on the last offer presented.

“In any case, the company confirms its acquisitive profile and the continuous search for external growth opportunities,”​ said a Newlat spokesman, “supported by an increasing availability of its own resources and the presence of significant financial partners who were ready to provide their full support to the group in front of this great opportunity and who we are confident will continue to support us in the future.”

Princes suffered a pre-tax loss of £50.7m, its financial results for the 12 months to 31 March 2023 confirmed​, despite an increase of revenue from £1.4bn in 2022 to £1.7bn in 2023.

Princes’ results

Managing director Cameron Mackintosh said the results were “primarily driven by extraordinary inflationary pressures resulting in increased direct material and operational costs reducing the gross profit percentage from 17.6% to 15.3% coupled with inflation increasing overheads and higher interest costs during the period”.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, The Compleat Food Group acquired SK Foods and Zorba Food​from The Entrepreneurial Food Group for an undisclosed sum.

Chilled party food manufacturer SK and dips and deli fillings producer Zerba have a combined turnover of more than £160m and hires more than 1,150 people.

Related topics Ambient foods Operations

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